Disclaimer: This write-up is not written to tell you which is better or which will come out victorious. Instead, the writer seeks to help you understand what they are and the inherent differences between the two of them.
The internet today is at an age where products are created to be free to use, this product belongs to a specific organization that has control over it. The user interface is beautiful ensuring that the users have a nice experience and are willing to return from time to time. Data are stored on central servers and the products are also placed on central servers Companies like Meta with products like Facebook fall into this category. This is referred to as web2.
The internet is also getting a facelift with the emergence of a promising technology known as blockchain technology. The technology promises to be different from the existing technology in terms of its attributes. Companies like Nestcoin build products making use of this technology. This is referred to as web3.
So what is the difference between web2 and web3?
We will be looking at four(4) areas where there are differences.
- User Experience
One difference between web2 and web3 has to do with how open they are. web2 is not known to be as open as web3. web2 is built around the concept that the codebase and data for a product are in the hands of the organisation managing it and only those authorized have access to it. web3 is built on the concept that the user data is openly available and any organisation running a similar service can access this data. The codebase is also publicly available ensuring that anyone with technical knowledge can study it and understand what they are getting into. It also allows for the discovery of vulnerabilities on the product level from users of the product.
On web2 the user identity on a product is confirmed either through the use of social login or password and any other value that uniquely identifies a user on a system like an email, phone number, etc. web3 made it different by allowing users to use a system by the click of a few buttons. The user's wallet address became his identity and no other details were needed from the user to access the system.
This may not be true for all organisations building products for web3. But more and more are taking up a structure that allows for transparency and freedom that was not available for organisations building on the web2. This starts from how funding is sourced. Early-stage builders on web2 will require friends, family, venture capitalists, etc. To fund what is being built. web3, brought a change anyone can buy a stake in the organisation if they are interested. Due to owning a part of the firm they have the freedom to vote on decisions that affect the future of the organisation. Individuals can sell all their stake or a part of it whenever they want, thereby cashing out their profits if any.
On a side note, if you are thinking about learning more about web3, the team at Zuri in collaboration with Nestcoin are organizing Blockgames which helps to train people to become blockchain developers. You can check them out and join the next cohort if interested.
Coming from a web2 world user experience is great each product is competing to capture your attention the longest. Starting from the user interface to the words used. In the web3 world, a lot still needs to the done to ensure that users can use a product with ease. Also, the creation of Ethereum Name Service(ENS) has reduced friction, ensuring that users do not need a long combination of characters(wallet address) to make a transaction and that it can be using the easy-to-remember username of the required address.
Finally, we have looked at four(4) areas where differences exist between web2 and web3. With time user experience on web3 is expected to get better. The rest is expected to widen as we find more use cases and continue to improve on the blockchain technology that powers web3.